Thought I'd catch you up on my knitting. I finished the Spiral hat I wanted to make. Persimmon likes it much better than I do. I started it in a different yarn last November. That yarn was wrong and ended up being a scarf and headband instead. I tried again in this yarn - Volare (51% Merino wool, 49% Acrylic). I don't like the hat. Knit buddies Laurie and Suzanne pointed out that the variegation hides the swirling stitches that travel around the hat. Right they are.
I received Charlene Schurch's new sock book for Christmas and I'm enjoying the useful sizing tables. I started a pair in "Sock It To Me", Italian yarn I got at Elann.com. The yarn is easy to work with, but I'm not in love with the pattern it is creating.
By the way, this simple sock is not from Schurch's book, but I did get the sizing info there.
I'm up to the heel flaps and at this point I'm going to try a trick I received from Ted, a wonderful knitter. Last May the email group was talking about how to get rid of holes at top of the gusset. Most people, including me, will pick up a couple of extra stitches on the first row after the gusset completion in order to fill in the hole that naturally develops. Ted offered the following excellent advice, which he invented and for which he should get all the credit.
"Or, you can work 2 wraps on the first 2 rows of the flap.... With
right side facing, work across the flap on its very first row. When you
get to the end of the flap stitches, work a wrap around the first
stitch of the instep sts. Turn and work the wrong side row to the other
side of the flap, and work the wrap with the instep stitch. Finish the
flap; turn the heel. Knit up sts along the side of the flap, work the
wrap together with the first stitch of the instep group, work across
the insteps sts, worth the wrap together with the last instep st, knit
up the sts on the side of the flap. Clean, neat, tidy, no holes."
Here is a picture of the new book which is resting upon my favorite winter knitting tool, the Visual Mate. Without it I would not be able to see small stitches in dark yarn during these dark winter months.